Text: H.R.1625 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)

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Reported in House (11/08/1997)


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[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1625 Reported in House (RH)]

                                                 Union Calendar No. 231

105th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                               H. R. 1625

                          [Report No. 105-397]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

 To ensure that workers have sufficient information about their rights 
 regarding the payment of dues or fees to labor organizations and the 
         uses of employee dues and fees by labor organizations.

_______________________________________________________________________

                            November 8, 1997

  Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole 
       House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed





                                                 Union Calendar No. 231
105th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1625

                          [Report No. 105-397]

 To ensure that workers have sufficient information about their rights 
 regarding the payment of dues or fees to labor organizations and the 
         uses of employee dues and fees by labor organizations.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 15, 1997

  Mr. Fawell (for himself, Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Armey, Mr. Boehner, Ms. 
  Molinari, Mr. Goodling, Mr. Ballenger, Mr. Barrett of Nebraska, Mr. 
   McKeon, Mr. Knollenberg, Mr. Riggs, Mr. Graham, Mr. McIntosh, Mr. 
    Norwood, Mr. Peterson of Pennsylvania, Mr. Deal of Georgia, Mr. 
Hilleary, Mr. Paxon, Mr. Watts of Oklahoma, Mr. Herger, Mr. Hefley, Mr. 
 Snowbarger, Mrs. Fowler, Mrs. Myrick, Ms. Dunn, Mr. Hayworth, and Mr. 
    Skeen) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                Committee on Education and the Workforce

                            November 8, 1997

Additional sponsors: Mr. Greenwood, Ms. Pryce of Ohio, Mr. Sam Johnson 
of Texas, Mr. Miller of Florida, Mr. Kolbe, Mr. DeLay, Mr. Gibbons, Mr. 
  Nethercutt, Mr. Cook, Mrs. Northup, Mr. Burr of North Carolina, Mr. 
    Sessions, Mr. Bachus, Mr. Parker, Mr. Cooksey, Mr. Dickey, Mr. 
  Cunningham, Mr. McCollum, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Canady of 
 Florida, Mr. Bereuter, Mr. Bob Schaffer of Colorado, Mr. Hunter, Mr. 
   Manzullo, Mr. Packard, Ms. Granger, Mr. Linder, Mr. Collins, Mr. 
   Hastert, Mr. Bono, Mr. Gallegly, Mr. Rohrabacher, Mr. Talent, Mr. 
 Porter, Mr. Scarborough, Mr. Souder, Mr. Goss, Mr. Cox of California, 
  Mr. Wamp, Mr. Smith of Michigan, Mr. Smith of Oregon, Mr. Smith of 
Texas, Mr. Fox of Pennsylvania, Mr. Upton, Mr. Christensen, Mr. Pitts, 
Mr. Ganske, Mr. Jones, Mr. Hansen, Mr. Stump, Mr. Bunning, Mr. Tauzin, 
 Mr. Baker, Mr. Shuster, Mr. Ehrlich, Mr. Coble, Mr. Oxley, Mr. Hyde, 
 Mr. Spence, Mr. Inglis of South Carolina, Mr. Bliley, Mr. White, Mr. 
   Archer, Mr. Largent, Mr. Sensenbrenner, Mr. Dreier, Mr. Bass, Mr. 
 Crane, Mr. Bonilla, Mr. Barton of Texas, Mrs. Chenoweth, Mr. Bateman, 
   Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Taylor of North Carolina, Mr. 
 Istook, Mr. Brady, Mr. Chabot, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Cannon, Mr. 
             Mica, Mr. McCrery, Mr. McInnis, and Mr. Bryant

                            November 8, 1997

  Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole 
       House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]
[For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on May 15, 
                                 1997]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To ensure that workers have sufficient information about their rights 
 regarding the payment of dues or fees to labor organizations and the 
         uses of employee dues and fees by labor organizations.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Worker Paycheck Fairness Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Workers who pay dues or fees to a labor organization 
        may not, as a matter of law, be required to pay to that 
        organization any dues or fees supporting activities that are 
        not necessary to performing the duties of the exclusive 
        representative of the employees in dealing with the employer on 
        labor-management issues.
            (2) Many labor organizations use portions of the dues or 
        fees they collect from the workers they represent for 
        activities that are not necessary to performing the duties of 
        the exclusive representative of the employees in dealing with 
        the employer on labor-management issues. These dues may be used 
        to support political, social, or charitable causes or many 
        other noncollective bargaining activities. Unfortunately, many 
        workers who pay such dues or fees have insufficient information 
        both about their rights regarding the payment of dues or fees 
        to a labor organization and about how labor organizations spend 
        employee dues or fees.
            (3) It is a fundamental tenet of this Nation that all men 
        and women have a right to make individual and informed choices 
        about the political, social, or charitable causes they support, 
        and the law should protect that right to the greatest extent 
        possible.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to ensure that all workers have 
sufficient information about their rights regarding the payment of dues 
or fees to labor organizations and the uses of employee dues and fees 
by labor organizations and that the right of all workers to make 
individual and informed choices about the political, social, or 
charitable causes they support is protected to the greatest extent 
possible.

SEC. 4. WRITTEN CONSENT.

    (a) In General.--
            (1) Authorization.--A labor organization accepting payment 
        of any dues or fees from an employee as a condition of 
        employment pursuant to an agreement authorized by Federal law 
        must secure from each employee prior, voluntary, written 
        authorization for any portion of such dues or fees which will 
        be used for activities not necessary to performing the duties 
of the exclusive representative of the employees in dealing with the 
employer on labor-management issues.
            (2) Requirements.--Such written authorization shall clearly 
        state that an employee may not be required to provide such 
        authorization and that if such authorization is provided, the 
        employee agrees to allow any dues or fees paid to the labor 
        organization to be used for activities which are not necessary 
        to performing the duties of exclusive representation and which 
        may be political, social, or charitable in nature.
    (b) Revocation.--An authorization described in subsection (a) shall 
remain in effect until revoked. Such revocation shall be effective upon 
30 days written notice.
    (c) Civil Action by Employees.--
            (1) Liability.--Any labor organization which violates this 
        section or section 7 shall be liable to the affected employee--
                    (A) for damages equal to--
                            (i) the amount of the dues or fees accepted 
                        in violation of this section;
                            (ii) the interest on the amount described 
                        in clause (i) calculated at the prevailing 
                        rate; and
                            (iii) an additional amount as liquidated 
                        damages equal to the sum of the amount 
                        described in clause (i) and the interest 
                        described in clause (ii); and
                    (B) for such equitable relief as may be 
                appropriate.
            (2) Right of action.--An action to recover the damages or 
        equitable relief prescribed in paragraph (1) may be maintained 
        against any labor organization in any Federal or State court of 
        competent jurisdiction by any one or more employees for and in 
        behalf of--
                    (A) the employees; or
                    (B) the employees and other employees similarly 
                situated.
            (3) Fees and costs.--The court in such action shall, in 
        addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff, allow a 
        reasonable attorney's fee, reasonable expert witness fees, and 
        other costs of the action to be paid by the defendant.
            (4) Limitation.--An action may be brought under this 
        subsection not later than 2 years after the date the employee 
        knew or should have known that dues or fees were accepted or 
        spent by a labor organization in violation of this Act, except 
        that such period shall be extended to 3 years in the case of a 
        willful violation.

SEC. 5. NOTICE.

    An employer whose employees are represented by a collective 
bargaining representative shall be required to post a notice, of such 
size and in such form as the Department of Labor shall prescribe, in 
conspicuous places in and about its plants and offices, including all 
places where notices to employees are customarily posted, informing 
employees that any labor organization accepting payment of any dues or 
fees from an employee as a condition of employment pursuant to an 
agreement authorized by Federal law must secure from each employee 
prior, written authorization if any portion of such dues or fees will 
be used for activities not necessary to performing the duties of the 
exclusive representative of the employees in dealing with the employer 
on labor-management issues.

SEC. 6. DISCLOSURE TO WORKERS.

    (a) Expenses Reporting.--Section 201(b) of the Labor-Management 
Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 is amended by adding at the end 
the following new sentence: ``Every labor organization shall be 
required to attribute and report expenses in such detail as necessary 
to allow members to determine whether such expenses were necessary to 
performing the duties of the exclusive representative of the employees 
in dealing with the employer on labor-management issues.''
    (b) Disclosure.--Section 201(c) of the Labor-Management Reporting 
and Disclosure Act of 1959 is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``and employees required to pay any dues 
        or fees to such organization'' after ``members''; and
            (2) inserting ``or employee required to pay any dues or 
        fees to such organization'' after ``member'' each place it 
        appears.
    (c) Written Requests.--Section 205(b) of the Labor-Management 
Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 is amended by adding at the end 
the following new sentence: ``Upon written request, the Secretary shall 
make available complete copies of any report or other document filed 
pursuant to section 201.''.

SEC. 7. RETALIATION AND COERCION PROHIBITED.

    It shall be unlawful for any labor organization to coerce, 
intimidate, threaten, interfere with, or retaliate against any employee 
in the exercise of, or on account of having exercised, any right 
granted or protected by this Act.

SEC. 8. REGULATIONS.

    The Secretary of Labor shall prescribe such regulations as are 
necessary to carry out the amendments made by section 5 not later than 
60 days after the enactment of this Act and shall prescribe such 
regulations as are necessary to carry out the amendments made by 
section 6 not later than 120 days after the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE AND APPLICATION.

    This Act shall be effective immediately upon enactment, except that 
sections 4 and 5 pertaining to worker consent and notice shall take 
effect 90 days after enactment and section 6 pertaining to disclosure 
shall take effect 150 days after enactment.